Liberty Global plc (NASDAQ:LBTYA), a leading cable TV operator in Europe and Latin America, has planned to offer wireless services to its customers.
According to a recent Bloomberg report, the company intends to establish a pan-European mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) system to provide mobile phone services. MVNO is a company which uses the established network infrastructure of an existing wireless operator to offer its own services.
Liberty Global intends to provide this service across Europe, especially in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and the U.K. Consequently, the company will become a competitor to major wireless operators, such as Vodafone Group plc. (VOD), Deutsche Telekom, Royal KPN N.V. and Belgacon.
As a leading cable TV operator in Europe, Liberty Global has an automated billing system, powerful back office support and a back-haul network which will facilitate the connection between core wireless operator networks and its own sub networks. All these infrastructural conveniences will help the company to drive margins of its mobile services.
Currently, Liberty Global is in the process of acquiring a 100% stake in Ziggo N.V., the largest cable MSO (multi-service operator) in the Netherlands. At present, Liberty Global holds a 28.5% stake in Ziggo. The deal is expected to close by the second half of 2014, subject to regulatory approvals.
Liberty Global is also trying to acquire full control of the Belgian cable TV operator, Telenet Group Holding NV. Currently, the company holds a 58.4% stake in Telenet.
In Jun 2013, Liberty Global acquired a 100% stake in the British cable MSO, Virgin Media. In the U.K., the merged entity poses serious competitive threat to British Sky Broadcasting Group plc. and BT Group plc.(BT). British Sky Broadcasting Group is the largest pay-TV operator in the U.K.and is partially controlled byNews Corp. (NWSA). Currently, Liberty Global has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).